It took major star power and two ceremonies to officially open the newest area of the Magic Kingdom. Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus were dedicated in a special ribbon cutting ceremony and then a larger celebration was held on the stage at Cinderella Castle. The star of “Once Upon a Time” kicked off the “happily ever after” at the grand opening. Ginnifer Goodwin, who plays Snow White on the hit ABC-TV drama, joined pop star Jordin Sparks and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs in ceremonies filled with favorite Disney characters, daytime fireworks and timeless melodies from classic Disney films.
“Walt Disney once promised that Disneyland, and by extension all of our parks, would never be complete as long as there is imagination left in the world,” Staggs said. “New Fantasyland is a spectacular addition to the Magic Kingdom that delivers on Walt’s promise. We’re thrilled to take guests beyond the walls of Cinderella Castle to discover new worlds featuring iconic Disney characters and stories in ways that are more imaginative, more interactive and more immersive than ever before.”
Earlier in the morning there was a smaller ceremony where the New Fantasyland section was dedicated by Tom Staggs with Sparks and Goodwin doing the official honors of cutting the ribbon.
New Fantasyland features attractions, dining, shopping, character interactions, recreation and more – laid out fairy tale-style amid waterfalls, grottoes, arched bridges, forests and circus big tops. The multiyear project returns to Fantasyland some previously closed areas and expands the experience quite a bit as well.
New Fantasyland consists of the Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus areas. Walt Disney Imagineers brought to life beloved Disney stories and magical places, putting guests in the middle of Disney classics and new favorites – and making memories to last a lifetime.
There’s even more in store as the expansion of New Fantasyland continues:
Princess Fairytale Hall (2013) will be the new home for Disney princesses to meet their loyal subjects in the Magic Kingdom. To open in the Castle Courtyard in the center of Fantasyland, the regal space will provide the perfect setting for meeting Cinderella, Aurora, Tiana and the other Disney princesses.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (2014) will take Magic Kingdom guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The family-style coaster will feature a first-of-its-kind ride system with a train of vehicles that swing back and forth.
It’s wonderful to have these two areas officially open and it will be even better when the Mine Train is finished and the area works together as a completed story. I am reserving my final judgement on the overall design and flow until that time. Until then, we do have some beautiful imagineering to enjoy and a return to the full complement of attractions that existed before the submarine voyage and Toontown fair went away. That will definitely help with Magic Kingdom’s ability to absorb crowds.